ABSTRACTION at Mnuchin

ABSTRACTION

February 6–March 16, 2024

 

Mnuchin Gallery
45 E 78th Street

NYC

 

Mnuchin Gallery proudly presents ABSTRACTION, an exhibition that delves into the dynamic ways post-war and contemporary artists have defined, challenged, and expanded, our comprehension of abstract art. On view from February 6 to March 16, 2024, the exhibition showcases an esteemed lineup, including John Chamberlain, Beauford Delaney, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Elizabeth Murray, Gerhard Richter, Susan Rothenberg, Kazuo Shiraga, Sylvia Snowden, Frank Stella, Jack Tworkov and others.

 

Abstraction is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, with practices varying widely among its contributors working in two dimensions, as well as three. While commonly understood as the absence of clear representation or figuration, abstraction naturally evades a singular or straightforward definition. This inherent ambiguity prompts profound questions about the nature of abstraction itself— how can it simultaneously embody deskilling and sophisticated dexterity, and possess universal qualities while remaining entirely subjective?

 

While representing a symphonic range of possibilities rather than a monolithic construct, these artists verify that abstraction is not devoid of recognizable or tangible elements, but rather necessitates a nuanced interplay between the imagined and the perceptible. 

 

The artists in ABSTRACTION partake in an ongoing history, where the gestural mark expands from a manifestation of post-war complexities to a more open-ended, exploratory space.

"The play between illusion and the literal is a key strategy Murray employs in her art. This painting, one in a series of four that feature a coffee cup split across fragmented canvases, reflects her masterful and technical painting process: an intensive building up of the surface and scraping down of its paint layers, often for months on end, until the desired effect is achieved. Beyond its domestic connotation, the coffee cup for Murray became a metaphor much like the apple as the forbidden fruit. “It’s really the symbol between the snake and Adam and Eve,” she said."

— Jason Andrew